Looking for a healthy vodka sauce alternative? Look no further! This vegan cashew cream tomato sauce served with whole wheat penne is a much lighter, plant-based, and nutritious option to a traditional vodka sauce made with heavy cream.
There’s no need to even soak the cashews in the recipe, which makes this cashew cream tomato sauce SO quick and easy to throw together! This was one of the most loved and re-posted recipes on my Instagram, so I hope you guys enjoy it.
Not only is this recipe delicious and easy, but all the ingredients in this dish are packed with nutrition. You guys know I’m all about elevating the nutrition factor of your favourite foods – check out all the goodness below!
Health Benefits of Cashews
Cashews are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known to promote heart health. Cashews are also a source of protein, which provides the building blocks for every cell in your body. Together, fat and protein will help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Cashews are also rich in essential micronutrients like magnesium (for proper nerve + muscle function and healthy bones), iron (for synthesizing hemoglobin + transporting oxygen throughout the body), and vitamin B6 (involved in many metabolic reactions in your body).
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps to fight free radical and oxidative damage. Vitamin C is also involved in collagen production and helps with wound healing, which makes it essential for healthy skin! Tomatoes are also the best food source of lycopene, another antioxidant known to promote overall health.
Can Pasta (Really) be Healthy?
Yes!! It totally can be :). What matters most is the ingredients you serve with your pasta (i.e. making nutrient-dense, veggie-heavy sauces like this one). If you’re looking to up the nutrient density even more, try experimenting with different types of pasta like brown rice and quinoa, or bean/lentil/chickpea varieties. These are often higher in fiber and protein than traditional white pasta. Some brands I love are Tinkyada or Banza, both of which can be found for a discounted price on Thrive Market. PS – you can also get bulk raw cashews here for much cheaper, too! Feel free to use my discount link to get 25% off your first Thrive order + 1 month free trial (affiliate)!
Want more plant-based pasta sauces?
Check out some of my favourites below:
- Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream
- Creamy Miso Tahini Pasta Sauce
- Vegan Hemp Seed Pesto
- Pasta With Tempeh Tomato Sauce
- Pumpkin Sage Cashew Cream
If you give this Pasta with Vegan Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce a try, let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more simple, healthy recipe ideas.
Pasta With Vegan Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup boiling hot water
- 1 cup strained tomatoes (or canned tomatoes – look for ones with no added salt or sugar)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 handful fresh basil (for the sauce, but save some to top pasta with)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Approx. 2 cups pasta of choice (regular, whole wheat, brown rice, bean/lentil, etc.)
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Boil water and then add all ingredients (except pasta) to a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix).
- Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy (should take only a few minutes). Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Drain pasta and then stir in the sauce, until pasta is well-covered. Serve and top with cracked pepper + a sprinkle of chopped basil. Enjoy hot!
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